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Internet Policy

INTERNET POLICY:

The Knoxville Public Library is pleased to be able to offer Internet access to the public in order to make available a vast array of information resources and to allow members of the public to become familiar with state-of-the-art information technology.

The Internet and its available resources contain a wide variety of material and opinions from varied points of view. In offering Internet access, library staff cannot control access points which often change rapidly and unpredictably. Users are hereby notified that they are responsible for the access points they reach. Parents of minor children must assume responsibility for their children’s use of or exposure to the Internet through the library’s connection. Children under age 8 must be supervised by an adult. In compliance with the Library Bill of Rights and the Freedom to Read statement, the Knoxville Public Library does not provide filters of any kind. The Knoxville Public Library assumes no responsibility for any damages, direct or indirect, arising from the use of the Internet.

Since the demand for use of the library’s Internet workstations may exceed the available supply, it is necessary to manage Internet access fairly and equitably so that all patrons will have an opportunity to use the resource. Therefore, a time limit of one hour will be imposed unless no one is waiting to use the workstation. If no one is waiting, patrons may use the Internet workstation for a longer period of time, but must relinquish the workstation if someone else wishes to use it. If all Internet workstations are busy, patrons may ask to be placed on a waiting list.

The library does not attempt to restrict access to Internet sites. The library wishes to make the Internet and all computer resources available to anyone who respects the rights and property of others, including the library, and who abides by these policies. While patrons are free to access whatever Internet sites they wish, the library must also be mindful and respectful of the rights of other patrons (particularly children) not to be inadvertently exposed to material and images they (or their parents) may find personally unsuitable. The library is also obligated to comply with federal law regarding the use of computer resources in the prevention of exposure to certain explicit images and material. Therefore, staff members will request that a patron remove such an image or text from an Internet workstation screen if, in the staff member’s judgment, the image or text is displayed in such a way that other patrons are exposed to or cannot reasonably avoid viewing it in the course of carrying out their business in the library. Any library staff member who observes a person viewing such material will direct that person to remove the material from the computer screen and refrain from viewing such material in the future. Any person who refuses to comply with these directions will be asked to leave the library premises. If the incident happens a second time the person may be barred from using the Internet facilities. If a person refuses to comply, law enforcement personnel may be called.

Wireless Internet access is available at no charge for patrons’ use on their own laptops. They must, however, adhere to the same rules as they would if they were using the library computers. If inappropriate or illegal material is displayed in such a way that other patrons are exposed to or cannot reasonably avoid viewing it in the course of carrying out their business in the library, the patron using the laptop will be asked to close out of the program. Any person who refuses to comply with these directions will be asked to leave the library premises. If a person refuses to comply, law enforcement personnel may be called.

The Knoxville Public Library provides access to computer resources for informational and educational purposes. All users of the library’s computer resources, both staff members and patrons, are expected to use these resources correctly and only for legal and ethical purposes.

Approved by Board of Trustees Sept. 17, 2008